Wednesday, November 29, 2023

Putin Acknowledges Israel’s Right to Self-Defense, Pushes for Independent Palestinian State

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Acknowledging Israel’s right to defend itself against the “unprecedented brutality” of Hamas’ attacks, Russian President Vladimir Putin underscored the imperative of establishing an independent Palestinian state with East Jerusalem as its capital, as reported by TASS. Speaking at the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) summit in Kyrgyzstan, Putin emphasized the absence of viable alternatives to a negotiated settlement for the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

“The negotiations must unequivocally focus on achieving the United Nations’ two-state solution, which implies the creation of an independent Palestinian state with East Jerusalem as its capital, coexisting in peace and security with Israel, which, of course, has come under an attack of unprecedented brutality. Of course, it has the right to defend itself. It has the right to ensure its peaceful existence,” Putin stated at the summit, emphasizing the necessity of resolving the issue through peaceful means.

“The way I see it, in a situation like this and in this particular place, there is simply no alternative [to two independent states],” he concluded, according to TASS, highlighting the urgency of addressing the conflict through diplomatic channels.

Putin’s visit to Kyrgyzstan, his first international trip following the International Criminal Court’s (ICC) issuance of an arrest warrant for alleged war crimes, included participation in the CIS summit, a regional organization comprising former Soviet republics. Al Jazeera’s coverage highlighted discussions concerning Russia’s waning influence in the region against the backdrop of Putin’s international engagements.

Despite his limited international travel since the onset of the Ukrainian conflict in 2022, Putin is scheduled to attend the third Belt and Road Forum in Beijing next week, signaling Russia’s diplomatic engagements extending beyond its immediate sphere, as noted in the report.

It is worth noting that Kyrgyzstan and China, both visited or planned to be visited by Putin, are not subject to ICC jurisdiction, a significant context in light of the ICC’s recent actions against Putin and Russia’s rights commissioner, Maria Lvova-Belova, for alleged human rights violations.

During his meeting with Kyrgyz President Sadyr Japarov, Putin reiterated Russia’s significant role as a key trade partner and the largest investor in Kyrgyzstan, affirming their shared commitment to expanding bilateral cooperation. However, concerns were raised by some Western analysts about the possibility of Russian businesses evading sanctions, potentially contributing to the recent growth in Russian-Kyrgyz trade.

Expressing gratitude for the invitation, Putin emphasized the significance of the visit, which had been overdue, as reported by TASS, highlighting the importance of fostering robust bilateral relations.

In recent months, the Kyrgyzstan central bank has urged local financial institutions to strengthen their compliance with Western sanctions against Russia. Additionally, the United States imposed sanctions on four Kyrgyz companies for allegedly exporting electronic components and technology to Russia, according to Al Jazeera’s report, underscoring the complexities of regional economic dynamics.

Anticipating his participation in ceremonies commemorating the 20th anniversary of Russia’s airbase near Kant, Kyrgyzstan, Putin’s presence further underscores Russia’s efforts to consolidate its influence in the region, utilizing strategic assets to bolster its geopolitical position, the report noted.

Russia has consistently rebuffed the ICC’s authority and dismissed the arrest warrant issued against Putin and Maria Lvova-Belova as “illegal,” following allegations of forcibly relocating Ukrainian children to Russia earlier this year, highlighting the contentious relationship between Russia and international judicial bodies.

In prior instances, Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov had represented Russia in diplomatic engagements, including the BRICS summit in August, standing in for Putin, as highlighted in Al Jazeera’s reporting, underscoring the intricate dynamics of Russia’s diplomatic representation at international forums.

Also Read- Israel-Hamas Conflict: Rocket Sirens Blare in Tel Aviv and Ashdod
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